Photos show New Zealand residents getting back to the beach, the putting green, and the McDonald’s drive-thru line after more than a month in coronavirus lockdown

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A masked man waits for a bus on the first day of the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020. MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images
  • New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the country has eliminated community transmission of the novel coronavirus. The country began scaling back its lockdown restrictions soon after.
  • Under the country’s level four coronavirus lockdown measures, residents were required to stay home aside from essential work, grocery shopping, and outdoor exercise near their homes.
  • New Zealand is now functioning with level three restrictions, which means the nation’s non-essential businesses that can operate in a contactless manner are allowed to reopen and citizens can engage in activities that allow for physical distance.
  • These photos show a snapshot of what life has been like for New Zealanders since the restrictions were eased.
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New Zealand residents were on a country-wide lockdown from March 25. When restrictions were lifted on April 28, citizens were allowed to leave their homes and return to activities that allow for physical distance.

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Surfers enjoy a sunrise surf at Sumner Beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Business Insider


While this has allowed citizens to get back to hobbies like surfing and golf, and children under 10 can go back to school, religious gatherings, wedding ceremonies, haircuts remain off-limits. The country’s borders remain closed.

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A man prepares to putt at a golf course in Christchurch, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: The Washington Post, CNN


New Zealanders can make socially-distanced trips to restaurant drive-thrus. People tweeted that long lines at fast-food restaurants formed early Tuesday morning.

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People order McDonald’s at a drive-thru in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Hemant Parikh/Twitter, The Washington Post


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a public briefing on Monday that the country had eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus. Ardern began lifting restrictions requiring residents to stay home the following day.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Business Insider, RNZ/YouTube


The country is currently operating with level three restrictions, which means they’re still following social distancing guidelines of remaining 6 feet apart and keeping social gatherings to a minimum.

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People order takeout from Fidel’s Cafe on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand. Mark Baker/AP Images

Sources: New Zealand Government, RNZ/YouTube


“We are opening up the economy, but we’re not opening up people’s social lives,” Ardern said in the briefing.

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Workers at a construction site in Christchurch, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Business Insider


The ease of restrictions has allowed for one million New Zealanders to work and for 75% of the economy to function, Ardern said at the briefing.

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Bar manager Jack Chrisholm packs supplies for online orders for the Fork & Brewer on April 29, 2020, in Wellington New Zealand. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: RNZ/YouTube


The primary sector of New Zealand’s economy, which includes products like dairy, meat, wool, and wine, will likely catch up quickly, John McDermott, executive director at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, told the Washington Post.

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A cellar at Church Road Winery in New Zealand on April 24, 2008. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: The Washington Post


These industries are able to operate under social distancing guidelines. However, industries like tourism remain closed.

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Kitchen hand Jatin Singh checks supplies for online food orders for the Fork & Brewer on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: The Washington Post


In total, the country has recorded 1,122 confirmed cases and 19 deaths from the disease as of Monday, the nation’s Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said at the briefing.

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Kaipara Flats School teacher Sharon Brown sanitizes the classroom equipment on April 28, 2020 ahead of a small number of children returning to class in Auckland, New Zealand. Mark Baker/AP Images

Sources: RNZ/YouTube


Bloomfield told New Zealand on Tuesday that the crisis isn’t over yet. “Elimination is not a point in time,” Bloomfield said in the briefing. “It is a sustained effort to keep it out and stamp it out over many months.”

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Members of the public line up outside Night ‘n Day Foodstore in Manners Mall on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand. Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: RNZ/YouTube